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Re: "Matchcode" technology sparks privacy flames.....

What Tim and Declan said.

Historically, I think, third-party (3P) "notice" reflects concern about the
accuracy of files held by others and their accountability.  Much '74-era
privacy talk was about 3Ps like credit issuers making decisions about you
based on incorrect information.  Notice would help you see and correct the
files on you.  Look at the report done on personal privacy in the
information society commissioned for the Privacy Act.

These weren't then and aren't now idle concerns, but a means to an end --
"notice" -- may be being confused with an end.  I'd rather stop
"womb-to-tomb" dossiers than assure their accuracy.

IMHO "notice" of 3P info gathering misses the point.  The problems start
with first and second parties.  Remember, this is about notice for
*gathering* information, not publishing it.  That means notice even if you
never publish or use it.

If we're concerned about the gathering of personal information from public
records, for instance, why was that information collected in the first

If because the gov't is regulating a transaction or relation, is that gov't
regulation necessary?  How much of the information is really needed?  How
much information does DMV need to issue a drivers' license?

Also, requiring third parties to give notice to first parties would raise
massive first amendment issues -- much of what we and the press do is
gather personal information.  What of the address books we all keep?

The constitutional problems would not exist, IMHO, if the gov't had to
notify us when it discloses our personal information.  The gov't is a major
information trafficker, both by extracting information directly, and by
requiring us to report information to 3Ps like banks, etc.


PS.  BTW, I am not a libertarian.

At 11:48 PM -0800 9/21/97, Tim May wrote:
>At 12:14 PM -0700 9/20/97, Will Rodger wrote:
>>One of the main assertions made by both sides in the privacy battles
>>is people must be informed when a third party is gathering "personal"
>>information about them.
>I don't know which two sides are the "both sides" you'r describing, but "my
>side" believes no such thing.
>--Tim May